MSU basketball rallies in second half, survives late to knock off Iowa

It’s never easy with this Spartans bunch.

Michigan State basketball was able to overcome a poor start and rally in the second half to pick up a much needed victory over Iowa, 63-61, from the Breslin Center on Thursday. Michigan State trailed by double-digits to open the game and needed Iowa to miss a pair of three-point attempts in the final seconds to pickup the victory.

The Spartans couldn’t have gotten off to much worse of a start than they did in the first half. Michigan State opened the game by missing their first nine field goal attempts and quickly found themselves in a 10-0 hole. Michigan State would rally, though, and finish the half strong to carry a one-point lead into the break by the score of 30-29.

Michigan State’s strong finish to the opening half didn’t carry over to the second half, with Iowa gaining control right away and building a lead of six points only five minutes into the frame. The Spartans never backed down, however, and were able to build their largest lead of the game (four points) in the final minute of the game. Iowa cut that to two points, and a missed front-end of a one-and-one scenario from A.J. Hoggard gave Iowa life. The Hawkeyes had two three-point attempts in the final eight seconds but both missed, and Michigan State held on for the massive victory.

Star senior forward Malik Hall returned from injury on Thursday, and was a big factor in the Spartans’ victory. He was one of five Spartans to reach double figures in points, dropping 11 points and grabbing three rebounds off the bench. Other key Spartans in this victory were Jaden Akins (12 points), Joey Hauser (11 points), Mady Sissoko (10 points and 10 rebounds) and Tyson Walker (10 points).

With the victory, Michigan State improves to 14-7 overall on the season and 6-4 in conference play. This was a much-needed victory for the Spartans, who had dropped three of their last four games and have a pair of tough games coming up.

The Spartans will return to the floor on Sunday in a tough road test at No. 1 Purdue. Tipoff from Mackey Arena is scheduled for 12:15 p.m. ET and the game can be seen on CBS.

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Story originally appeared on Spartans Wire